So “Ding Dong The W… Is Dead”.
Mrs T’s death has got the magic dragons huffing and puffing all right.
We might be back in the 16th century, burning witches at the stake. Why is it that the negative associations around witches are still so strong?
Whatever the rights and wrongs of Mrs T’s spell in power, if she had been a man, we wouldn’t be seeing people singing “Ding Dong the Wizard Is Dead”.
Wizards have never been so popular. Thanks, JK Rowling.
Gandalf, Merlin and the rest all work for the power of good against the forces of darkness. Whereas the white witches are few and far between – and are always clearly white. (Another topic…) A different breed altogether and not to be confused with any pure witch – who is always “wicked”, associated with evil deeds.
Today it’s well known that the vast majority of so-called witches who were so badly persecuted, historically, were in fact wise women, healers, midwives and herbalists. Playing the role of the traditional shaman in their communities, as they had done for centuries before.
So why is it that it was women who were so persecuted – and given a label that, despite the terrible wrongs done over a long and shameful period of time, still has entirely negative and entirely feminine connotations?
Of course we have male witches and we have female wizards, but in mainstream circles a witch is still always perceived as bad and as female and a wizard as good and as male. Even today most people still associate witches with all that traditional fear of the unknown, of illnesses, of the mysterious, of the skills and therefore the power to heal.
While doctors were all men – and their skills and expertise, also acquired after many years of study, were treated with respect and even reverence as they became members of a profession. Which originally excluded women and of course involved complex rituals and admission ceremonies. Sounds familiar…
Mrs T and those other early women MPs encountered exactly the same attitudes and environment when entering parliament only a few decades ago, as all the documentaries over the last week have highlighted.
Judging from what we still see today the House of Commons still hasn’t changed that much since, although significant progress has been made since Mrs T became our first woman prime minister.
Career opportunities for women have completely opened up.
Her role as a role model can’t be underestimated, even though at the time it was just the first stage – so then, to succeed, she had to be so much tougher and brighter and more on top of the detail than her male colleagues. To succeed exactly as a man would, whereas today women are also celebrated and valued for the different skills they bring to society and to boardrooms.
I was at uni when Mrs T became prime minister and I worked in the city in the 80s – as she began to unravel the bastions of male power and privilege that had run our country for so long. From the city to the unions… they were both equally prejudiced. It’s all changed so much since then – and she was one of the leaders of that revolution for women, even without ever coming anywhere near the feminist movement.
We’re not there yet of course. The best definition of sexual equality I’ve ever come across is the one that says: we will have achieved equality when there are as many mediocre women as mediocre men in every position. Obviously I’m not interested in mediocrity, but it’s a powerful point.
It’s interesting that Maggie of all people should be called a witch today. There wasn’t much mystery about her – despite her Scorpio ascendant. One of the reasons she was so popular – she was elected repeatedly, by attracting huge support among working people, not just the privileged,Â – was her openness as well as convictions. You always knew exactly where she stood and what she stood for.
Although a consummate politician, as her international achievements showed rather better than her record here, there was famously no spin, scheming and slipperiness.
Which is the one thing people hated about Tony Blair’s time. Along with expenses frauds. And John Major’s government had the same problems with sleaze and “family values”.
These are key marketing lessons too.
Marketing should always be based on integrity.Â Spin has nothing to do with true marketing. You need to build trust. You also need clarity.
Of course there are some other vital ingredients too – such as caring about your customers and understanding their problems and what they want and need.
I’ve chosen to highlight some of Mrs T’s strengths here.
I believe in focusing my energy on the positives, on looking for and celebrating the good contributions to our world.
So today I will send her some love and gratitude for all the good things she did.
I am not interested in the rest. To those who who have chosen to focus on the negatives, it is worth remembering that what you focus on and the energy you give out, is what you will attract back.
There are so many ways our rights to free speech can be used positively. If you need inspiration, think of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Of course, letting go can be hard – and especially letting go of judgements. Mrs T was a Libran. Nothing in our universe is a coincidence.
I shall celebrate the passing of a wizard.
Sophia James, Inspiring Communication For Success â€“ Personal and Business Online Brand and Marketing Expert